Get to know more about the foundation of mindful parenting and how mindfulness is key to raising happy and emotionally resilient children.
Mindfulness is being aware and present in the moment. It means tuning into your surroundings, thoughts and feelings from a nonjudgmental perspective. In this article, we will dive deep into the wonderful and empowering world of mindful parenting.
What is Mindful Parenting?
Mindful parenting is a mindfulness-based approach to parenting that focuses on awareness, mindfulness and presence. Mindful parenting techniques encourage parents to tune into their child’s feelings, thoughts and experiences from a nonjudgmental perspective.
The focus of mindfulness in the parent-child relationship is to create an environment where both parent and child can listen to each other with compassion. The mindfulness approach emphasizes that parents and children need to work together as a team, rather than have one person (the parent) ‘knowing better’ or taking charge.
The mindfulness approach to parenting encourages you not to over-react when disciplining your child. It also teaches you how to address conflicts in such a way that everyone learns from the experience. This benefits both parent and child, as it minimizes hurt feelings, anxiety and defensiveness while promoting mindfulness and empathy.
Another important aspect of mindful parenting is self-compassion . When you are mindful of your own thoughts and feelings, you can create an environment where you listen to your child with nonjudgmental awareness.You can also help your child do the same when they are upset.
Ultimately, mindfulness is about being aware and present in the moment, while practicing self-compassion so you avoid passing on distorted habits, behaviors and psychological wounds about yourself to your child.
What Does Mindfulness Do to Your Child?
A mindful child is a self-aware child. This helps the child to understand who they are and how they feel in the moment, without feeling overwhelmed or confused by their thoughts.
When mindfulness is practiced in positive ways, it can also help children become more empathetic, cooperative and compassionate individuals. The mindfulness approach promotes taking time to listen to your children with an open mind and heart.
It also teaches children how they can connect with their feelings from a nonjudgmental space, rather than get swept away by strong emotions like anger or sadness. Children learn to be mindful of both themselves and others without being offensive or judgmental. This way, mindfulness helps children have healthier relationships with parents, siblings and peers.
Mindful Parenting Tips
To practice mindfulness with your children, here are some helpful tips:
Be compassionate with yourself and others.
It is important to not judge yourself as a parent when things don’t go according to plan, or when you lose your temper with your child. Similarly, it is important to not judge yourself negatively if mindfulness doesn’t come easily to you at first—it can take time and practice!
Take a mindful moment.
Create mindfulness in your home by setting aside time each day or week for everyone to be present in the moment together.
For example, have breakfast as a family or share a snack while paying attention to the food and how you feel. You can also take daily mindfulness walks with your child—this is a great way to tune into each other’s feelings. In addition, try taking time before bed for mindfulness breathing exercises . This could help get your child in the right mindset for sleeping by helping her stay calm and relaxed.
Listen to your child.
When you tune into your child’s feelings and thoughts from a nonjudgmental point of view, you teach them how important it is to be present in the moment without feeling embarrassed or defensive. Tune into yourself as well. When you are talking to your child, be aware of how you feel and what you’re thinking in the moment. This helps keep emotions from getting out of control so everyone can learn from the experience.
Create a mindful environment at home.
Create an area in your home where mindfulness is encouraged, such as an art corner or mindfulness corner. It can help if you incorporate mindfulness into the activities you do with your child, such as reading books out loud together or doing puzzles or crafts that require hand-eye coordination and attention to detail. When you embody mindful parenting, amazing things happen and the bond just gets stronger.
Model Mindfulness to Your Children
You can also encourage mindfulness by practicing it yourself and modeling it for your child. This way, they will learn mindfulness from an early age as a natural part of their home environment.
For example, you could take mindful moments during the day to:
- Breathe deeply while lying on the floor before getting out of bed in the morning. This can help calm the mind and body.
- Stretch before breakfast. This can help improve mindfulness by helping you focus on what you are doing in each moment, rather than running a mile ahead of yourself with thoughts about your day.
- Do yoga or mindfulness exercises at night. This helps clear the mind and prepare for sleep, as well as create mindfulness with your child.
- Meditate or use other mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness can be done anywhere, whether it’s sitting on a park bench, walking in the forest or hanging out at home. You can practice mindfulness at any time of day, but it can be especially helpful before bed.
In mindful parenting, you learn to be realistic about what you are capable of both as a parent and as a child . Practicing mindfulness with your child teaches mindfulness from an early age; this way it becomes natural for children and parents to practice mindfulness throughout their lives .
Learning mindfulness with your child is also an effective way to promote mindfulness in children, as it helps them learn mindfulness skills that they can use throughout their life (including at school, during sports activities and when interacting with friends) .
When parents practice mindfulness with their children, it creates a loving environment for the entire family. Mindful parenting teaches parents how to better accept their children for who they are, as well as accept themselves, which helps families avoid tensions that can potentially lead to conflicts.
Mindful parenting can also prevent parents and children from getting too caught up in what will happen, whether it’s studying for a test or getting ready for bed. Instead of worrying about the future, mindfulness teaches you to be calm and composed.
When mindfulness becomes a part of your daily life, it will be easier to connect with your child as you learn to put aside your worries and expectations, which frees you both up for moment-to-moment living.
This in turn helps promote mindfulness in everyone around you! What mindful parenting things do you practice with your children?
More Good Reads:
- 9 Things I Love About Homeschooling my Kids
- How to Raise Kids That Believe in Themselves
- 5 Things a Mother Sacrifices for Her Children
- 9 Ways to Build Emotional Resilience in Kids